The Spanish conductor Jesus Lopez-Cobos studied philosophy in Madrid and conducting with Franco Ferrara and Hans Swarowsky. He has conducted at festivals in Edinburgh, Salzburg, Berlin, Prague, Lucerrne, Montreux, Tanglewood, Ravinia as well as at the world´s most renowned opera stages like La Scala, the ROH Covent Garden, in Paris, at the Met or in Japan.
From 1981 to 1990 he was GMD of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, 1984 to 1988 MD of the Spanish National Orchestra, 1981 to 1986 Permanent Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, 1986 until 2001 chief conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, 1990 to 2000 chief conductor of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, 2003 to 2010 Music Director of the Teatro Real, since 2011 he has been Permanent Guest Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia.
He has collaborated with the world´s most renowned orchestras, among them the Berliner and Wiener Philharmoniker, the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Münchner Philharmoniker, the Cleveland Orchestra. He made his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in1980 with L’elisir d’amore and has since then also conducted La Bohème, Tosca, Nabucco, Manon, La forza del destino here.
ANGELA GHEORGHIU is among the most renowned singers of her fach. She was born in Rumania, visited the music school in Bucharest and continued studying there at the music university. She made her international debut in 1992 at the ROH Covent Garden in La Bohème. That same year debuts at the Met and the Wiener Staatsoper followed, in 1994 she sang her first Traviata in London. Since then she has been a sought-after guest on the most important opera and concert stages in New York, London, Paris, Salzburg, Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Prague, Montreal, Moscow, Taipei. Angela Gheorghiu, who has published a large number of highly distinguished recordings, has received several important awards (Female Artist of the Year 2001 and 2010, Medaille Vermeille de la Ville de Paris, Officier de l´Ordre des Arts et Lettres, Chevalie de l´Ordre des Arts et Lettres, Doctor Honoris Causa of the art university Iasi. She has sung Mimi, Adina, Nannette, Marguerite, Violetta at the Wiener Staatsoper.
Jonas Kaufmann was born in Munich and is among the most sought-after tenors of the present. He studied vocal arts in Munich and attended master classes with James King, Hans Hotter and Josef Metternich. He began his career in 1994 at the Staatstheater Saarbrücken and very soon received invitations to the Hamburgische Staatsoper, Stuttgart, Chicago, Paris, La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Bayerische and Berliner Staatsoper, to Edinburgh, Tokyo, London, Luzern, Venice, Zurich and Brussels.
In 1999 Jonas Kaufmann made his debut at the Salzburg Festival in Busoni´s Doktor Faustus. He was also very successful as Alfredo (La traviata), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Faust (La Damnation de Faust), Parsifal, Stolzing (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Max (Der Freischütz), Don José (Carmen), Rodolfo (La Bohème), Cavaradossi (Tosca), Don Carlo, Roméo (Roméo et Juliette), Florestan (Fidelio), Des Grieux (Manon), to only name a few. He made his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper as Tamino and has since then also sung Des Grieux (Manon), Cavaradossi and the title roles in Werther, Faust and Parsifal here.
English biography coming soon!
Ryan Speedo Green comes from Suffolk (Virginia) in the USA, and studied at the Florida State University and the Hartt School of Music. He has won several prizes from singing competitions and recently completed the coveted Lindemann Young Artists Development Program of the New York Metropolitan Opera. In the 2013/2014 season, he sang the roles of Onkel Bonzo in Madama Butterfly and the Schließer in Tosca at the New York Met. In the years leading to that in the Met, he also sang in Mandarin in Turandot as well as in Parsifal. Further works in his repertoire include Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Don Profondo (Il viaggio a Reims), Commendatore (Don Giovanni), Colline (La Bohème), and Don Magnifico (La cenerentola). On the concert stage, Ryan Speedo Green has sung in Händels Messias, in Mozarts Requiem, in Beethovens 9. Symphonie, in Verdis Requiem, and in Mozarts Coronationmass. In the 2014/2015 season, he will be Rambo in Death of Klinghoffer in the New York Met. From September 2014, he will be an ensemblemember of the Wiener Staatsoper and sang here, among others, Fouquier Tinville (Andrea Chénier), Mönch (Don Carlo), Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Pope (Lady Macbeth von Mzensk), Sparafucile (Rigoletto), Titurel, Angelotti (Tosca), König (Aida).
The South Korean bass Il Hong was born in 1980 in Seoul and studied at the Yonsei University there under Prof. Kwan-Dong Kim. In spring 2007, he completed his vocal studies with a bachelor of Music. Since October, he was studying his masters with Prof. Markus Goritzki at the Hochschule for Music Freiburg. In 2011, at the 49th Concorso Liric voci Internazionale Verdiane-Competition, he won the second prize and has been a finalist of numerous singing competitions. In the 2009/2010 season, Il Hong was in the Opera studio of the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich but then changed in the 2010/2011 season to the Landestheater Detmold. There, he sang among others, Sarastro, Banquo (Macbeth), Wassermann (Rusalka), Bartolo (Le nozze di Figaro) and Fasolt (Das Rheingold). Since the 2011/2012 season, Il Hong belongs to the ensemble of the Wiener Staatsoper and has sung until now roles like Marquis von Obigny, Reinmar von Zweter (Tannhäuser), Oberpriester (Nabucco), Joe (Rise and Fall of Mahagonny), Don Bartolo (Le nozze di Figaro), Graf Warting (Un ballo in maschera) and Capulet (Roméo et Juliette).
Benedikt Kobel comes from Vienna and studied at the Hochschule for Music and performing Arts there. Guest performances have led him to the Semperoper, to Leipzig, Cologne, Frankfurt, the Gärtnerplatztheater, the Zurich Opera, the Graz Oper, the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, the Arena di Verona and the Vienna Volksoper. In 1986, Benedikt Kobel gave his debut at the Vienna State Opera as 1st Gondoliere (La Gioconda). This was followed, among other, by Arturo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Kunz Vogelgesang (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Raffaele (Stiffelio), Narraboth (Salome), Steuermann (Fliegender Holländer), Malcolm (Macbeth), Don Curzio (Le nozze di Figaro), Valzacchi (Der Rosenkavalier), Henry (Die schweigsame Frau), Don Gaspar (La Favorite), Oloferno (Lucrezia Borgia), Spoletta (Tosca), Andres (Wozzeck), Dr. Blind (Die Fledermaus), Abdallo (Nabucco), Monostatos und 1st Priest (Zauberflöte), Goro (Madama Butterfly), Rodrigo (Otello), Tschaplitzki (Pique Dame), Jaquino (Fidelio), Edmondo (Manon Lescaut), Missail (Boris Godunow), Cajus (Falstaff) and Schmidt (Werther).
MARCUS PELZ was born in Stuttgart, studied solo vocals, lied and oratorio, classical operetta as well as the fach Old Music at the Conservatory of Vienna and graduated from the opera school of the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. First engagements at the Landestheater St. Pölten, the Wiener Kammeroper (1995-1997) and the Neue Oper Wien were the basis for his engagement at the Wiener Staatsoper (member of the ensemble since 1999). Guest engagements for example led him to the Teatro Avenida in Buenos Aires in the leading role of Wozzeck, and to the Maggio Musicale in Florence with the Rosenkavalier. His repertoire in the House on the Ring includes more than eighty parts, e.g. Hermann, Gregorio, Schaunard, Notar and Polizeikommissar, Kothner and Konrad Nachtigall, Sprecher and 2. Priester, Antonio, Phorbas, Angelotti, Donald, Gualtiero Raleigh, Alessio, Masetto, Haly, Johann, 1. Schäfer, Albert, Altgesell and Saretzki. His appearances in children´s operas on the roof of the Wiener Staatsoper are very popular among the young audience.
KS Alfred Šramek was born in Mistelbach and was a member of the Mozartsängerknaben. He continued his vocal arts studies at the Konservatorium der Stadt Wien with KS Hilde Zadek and KS Peter Klein. Numerous guest appearances have for example led him to the Salzburger and Bregenzer Festspiele. Furthermore, he regularly appeared at the Wiener Volksoper and guests in Spain, Germany and the USA. In 1975 he was engaged at the Wiener Staatsoper as a soloist, where he made his debut as 8. Meister and 5. Kapellsänger (Palestrina). His repertoire comprises about one hundred roles, among them Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Leporello, Masetto, Bartolo, Dulcamara, Taddeo, Benoit, Schaunard, Waldner (Arabella), Altgesell (Jenufa), Mathieu (Andrea Chenier), Don Alfonso (Cosi fan tutte), Bailli (Werther), Mesner (Tosca), Hauptmann (Boris Godunow), Frank, Dansker (Billy Budd), Schigolch (Lulu), Pistola (Falstaff), Pollicinos Vater. In 1989 he became Österreichischer Kammersänger. KS Alfred Šramek is also a successful concert singer. Numerous CD recordings have been published.
Rome in the year 1800. Republicans pinning their hopes on Napoleon are being subjected to a rule of terror. One of their leaders, Angelotti, has managed to escape from the Fort St. Angelo prison and seeks sanctuary in the church of Sant’ Andrea della Valle. He hides in the Attavanti family chapel, the key of which has been left for him by a pre-arranged plan. In the church the painter Mario Cavaradossi is working on a painting of the Magdalena, using as his model (only without her knowing it) a beautiful lady who comes to the church to pray. She is Marchesa Attavanti, Angelotti’s sister.
Angelotti comes out of his hiding place, confident that he can trust Cavaradossi. Nor is he mistaken, for Cavaradossi gives him the basket of food which was brought for himself and sends him back to his hiding place just as his beloved Floria Tosca is heard coming into the church. She is immediately struck by his uneasiness and notices that his painting of the Magdalena has an exact likeness of the Marchesa Attavanti. She cannot restrain her jealousy, and it is all Cavaradossi can do to persuade her that he is innocent, that her suspicions are unfounded, and that it is she alone whom he loves. After Tosca has departed Cavaradossi tells Angelotti he knows of a better hiding place for him, an empty well on his property. Suddenly there is a canon shot from the Fort, a signal that Angelotti’s escape has been discovered. It is high time he found a new hiding place.
A service is being held in the church. Suddenly Rome’s Chief of Police, Scarpia, comes in. as soon as Angelotti’s escape was discovered Scarpia felt instinctively that the Attavanti chapel should be the first place for him to look in, and sure enough he finds the empty food basket Cavaradossi had given Angelotti, and the Marchesa’s fan. He immediately realizes that the latter is far more than just a clue: his knowledge of human frailties tells him that it can be used to inflame Tosca’s jealousy. And so it proves: Tosca once again doubts her lover’s fidelity, and Scarpia is a step nearer possession of Tosca, whose love for Cavaradossi makes her blind to all danger. While a solemn procession winds its way into the church, Scarpia gloates over his imminent triumph.
A rumor that Napoleon has suffered a defeat leads to a great celebration at the Palazzo Farnese, to which Tosca contributes a song. Scarpia can hear her voice from his room in the Palazzo. He accordingly has Cavaradossi brought in. the basket and fan do not succeed in making him talk, so Scarpia orders him to be dealt with in the adjoining torture chamber.
Tosca arrives just in time to see him being led away to the torture chamber. Scarpia is well aware that mental torture in more effective than physical; Cavardossi’s screams of agony are too much for Tosca and she gives away Angelotti’s hiding place. And wen Cavaradossi is brought before Scarpia again, Scarpia allows himself the pleasure of telling him what Tosca has done. But Cavaradossi’s despair soon changes to triumph as news is handed to Scarpia of Napoleon’s victory at Marengo. Now the end of the tyranny is surely in sight. Only Cavaradossi will not live to see it, for he is to be shot for high treason. Tosca now plays her last card to secure Cavaradossi’s release. Scarpia has told her what the price is, and she says she is ready to pay it. To keep up the pretence Scarpia orders a mock execution: Cavaradossi is to be brought on blindfolded but the rifles will be loaded with blank ammunition. While Scarpia is making out safe conducts for Tosca and Cavaradossi Tosca’s hand lights on a knife, and just as Scarpia is about to claim his agreed reward she stabs him, snatches the passes from his dying grasp, and makes off without being seen.
Cavaradossi is to be shot on the Fort. St. Angelo. He is allowed to write a farewell letter to Tosca, and as memories of her come flooding back, suddenly she appears before him, tells him what has happened, shows him how he is to behave at the mock execution, and assures him they are both safe. Cavaradossi faces the firing squad with a smile, and with a smile Tosca sees him fall, just as she had instructed him. As soon as the firing squad has gone, Tosca rushes up to him…but he is dead. So Scarpia’s trickery has triumphed after all. Life has no meaning for Tosca now, and as Scarpia’s underlings are heard coming up to arrest her she throws herself from the roof of the Fort St. Angelo.